A Career in Cytotechnology

What is cytotechnology?

Cytotechnology is the study of cells obtained from body tissues. Through intensive microscopic examination, cytotechnologists discern minute cellular alterations to differentiate malignant from normal cells. Cytologic interpretation is an invaluable tool for assisting clinicians in detecting cancer in its earliest and potentially most curable stage.

One of the tests most commonly performed by cytotechnologists is the Pap test, a test used to detect abnormal cells in the cervix. Cytology also plays a role in the detecting and development of cancer throughout the body, including the lungs, stomach, urinary tract, breast, and body cavities. The staining and preparation of these cellular specimens, as well as their microscopic interpretation, require a specialized form of training, which can be obtained at the Cytotechnology Program.

Working under the supervision of a pathologist—a doctor specializing in the practice of laboratory medicine—cytotechnologists can find employment in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, and medical laboratories. Advancement in the field of cytotechnology includes: supervision, management, research, education, and other laboratory specialties. 

Considering a career in cytotechnology?

If you can answer YES to most or all of these statements, you may want to consider a career in cytotechnology.

  • I am fascinated by how biology works.
  • I like to analyze data to figure out a problem.Squamous cells clumped in the shape of a puppy
  • I pay close attention to the smallest detail.
  • I am able to make a decision with confidence.
  • I work well on my own without a lot of supervision.
  • I understand the value of accurate documentation.
  • I see myself as a life-long learner.
  • I consider cancer a significant and intriguing disease.
  • I want to be able to help people and make a difference.
  • I recognize the link between workload expectations, cost, and quality health care.
  • I would enjoy looking at patient specimens with a microscope for many hours a day.
  • I like the idea of having a regular, 9-to-5, weekday work schedule.
  • I am careful, reliable, and self-motivated to do my best.